A tornado is a violent windstorm usually characterized by a twisting, funnel shaped cloud that is caused by a thunderstorm or a hurricane. It is produced when a cool air mass meets a warm air mass and forces the warm air mass to rise over the cool air mass very rapidly. Most of the damage from a tornado is a result of high wind velocity and wind blown debris. Most tornadoes occur during the months of March through August, but they can occur during any time of the year. They also seem to strike in the afternoon to the evening. What you should do and know You should know all key terms that are used to describe tornado threats. 1. Tornado Watch - This means that tornadoes are possible and you should stay tuned to a radio station for more reports.
2. Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted and you should take shelter immediately. 3. Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible and they may bring a tornado. 4.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning - A severe thunderstorm is here and a tornado may be present. 5. You should know the country and terrain in which you live. This is used in identifying the location of a tornado. 6.
You should know the places you can seek shelter such as a cabin or rest area. 7. Practice doing this before you head out into the wilderness. 8. You should have emergency supplies on hand such as: Flashlight with extra batteries Portable battery operated radio with extra batteries First aid kit with all supplies and manual Emergency food and water Nonelectric can opener All essential medicines Money Sturdy, good shoes 9. Make an inventory of all your possessions and take pictures of them so if they are lost they you can replace them. Tornado Danger Signs Large hail Calmness before the tornado hits Cloud of debris Funnel cloud Roaring noise Calmness and clear skies after the tornado What to do during a tornado watch 1.
Listen to your radio for the latest weather updates. 2. Be alert for an approaching storm so you can get ready and gather your emergency disaster materials up. If you see a funnel cloud call your local emergency number to report it if you can. 3. Be ready to take shelter. What to do during a tornado if you are outside If possible get inside a building If there is no shelter nearby or there is no time to get indoors, lie down in a ditch or a low-lying area with your hands shielding your head.
Be aware of flooding in the low lying area or ditch. What you should do after the tornado Help any injured or trapped people Give first aid if it is necessary and do not move any seriouly injured victims unless they are in jeopardy of more injuries. Call for help Turn on your radio to get the latest information Use a telephone if you have one to make any emergency calls Did you know this... Tornadoes can be nearly invisible and only marked by swirling debris at the base of the funnel. On average the U. S. experiences about 100,000 thunderstorms a year and out of those about 1,000 tornadoes develop.
Although tornadoes can occur throughout the world the U. S. has the most and most devastating ones. Tornadoes produce the most violent winds in the world. Tornado winds can be as high as 300 miles per hour, travel distances over 100 miles and reach heights of over 60,000 feet above the ground. In 1988 121 tornadoes struck 15 south central states. This resulted in 14 deaths and damages reaching $108 million.
Bibliography The following resources were used to do this project Federal Emergency Managment Agency (FEMA) Miami Institute of Hurricanes Encarta ‘95 Funk and Wagnalls New Encylopedia American Red Cross Word Count: 607